Plug-in hybrid cars are said to be more fuel efficient and of course cheaper to operate compared to the regular vehicles using conventional combustion engines. It is not a free lunch though since charging these hybrids will mean consuming energy too, and money to pay for the electric bill.
The OnStar service of General Motors has an application that can tell owners of the Chevrolet Volt about the real cost of plugging their hybrid vehicles to an outlet at home. The app is called EcoHub and has the function of comparing the energy used by the Volt against the total consumption of the household on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis.
The new app will be using the energy data that can come from a utility company or a smart meter to get the info on overall usage. It also collects information from the Volt owners about the charging information of the vehicle.
The marketing team of Chevrolet pointed out that owners of the Volt have the good habit of keeping tract of their stats and compare their driving stats like the number of miles driven for a single charge. The app is a perfect combo to the technology of the Volt to provide very useful information to Volt owners. The EcoHub will be made available to a demo project in Austin, Texas initially.
You can click on the video below to learn more about the EcoHub app:
About a week ago, General Motors denied that it will be licensing the Synergy Drive hybrid system of Toyota. Over the weekend, there are rumors that Toyota might be pushing the Prius over to the GM camp and be re-branded wearing a GM badge.
The picture is not that clear especially when one considers the effort of GM in developing the Volt and the Buick crossover. But with the announcement of General Motors that it will be withdrawing from its partnership with Toyota at the NUMMI or New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated, the move of re-branding the Prius may be a logical move.
The withdrawal was made after a final agreement as to which future product line up should be developed cannot be made between the two parties.
A spokesperson from GM North America informed the press that the joint venture between Toyota and their company has no future units planned for production.
Fisker automotive is teaming up with General Motors to power its hybrid sedan coined the Karma. The plug-in sedan will be powered by a 2.0L Ecotec engine which will trigger a generator to run the car after the Karma runs 50 miles on its battery. This technology is called the Q drive which was exclusively developed by Quantum Technologies for Fisker.
The Karma which may source some of its parts from the Powertrain Integration LLC unit of GM is scheduled to debut come the Detroit Auto Show in January 2009.
The hybrid car from Fisker will race from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and will have a top speed of 125 mph. It will also utilize a regenerative braking to optimally utilize energy during deceleration.